If you are designing your own PCB, it can be fun to experiment and try to find your own unique way of designing the board. However, there are some tried-and-true techniques that have been found to produce better results. If you follow these methods, you will be less likely to be forced to start from scratch.
Before you begin designing, you will need to be prepared to create documentation that includes all of the important details of your PCB. This will make it easier to understand your PCB and make the necessary adjustments when there is something wrong. You will need information such as schematics, layout files and assembly drawings. The schematics are the most important. If they are not accurate, you can easily lose control over your project.
Control The Size Of The Copper Traces
You must account for the resistance that copper traces have. Otherwise, your PCB can experience unacceptable voltage drops and temperature spikes. You can control the copper trace by changing the trace size and thickness. However, consider that very fine features, such as close pins, can be difficult to make with thick copper.
Make Important Nodes Easy To Access
Make sure that it is easy to access the most important nodes. There will be a time when it is difficult to determine why something is not working unless your most essential nodes are easy to access. When your circuit is not easy to access, you will need a test point that will allow you to connect to the component you will need to test. Test points that have loops are the easiest to work with.
Make Small Loops
You will need to make the loops as small as possible. This is especially important with high frequency loops. The smaller the loop, the lower the resistance and this can help prevent voltage spikes. It also reduces the number of signals, which is beneficial if you are not creating the PCB for an antennae.
Space Components Far Apart
In an effort to make your PCB board as small as possible, you may want to place the components close together. However, this will lead to there not being enough room for wires. If the component has a lot of pins, it will need even more space for wires. It is also generally better to place all of your components on one side of the board.
For more tips on designing your PCB circuit board, talk to a company like Streamline Circuits.